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Honda publishes teaser website for 2014 JDM Odyssey

by Ben Hsu

The all-new Japanese market van will feature sliding rear doors for the first time.

Honda has published a for the Honda Odyssey in advance of its release this fall. The fifth-generation Odyssey for the Japanese domestic market is a wholly different model than the identically-named minivan in the U.S.

For the first time in the Japanese Odyssey's life, the van will feature rear sliding doors rather than four traditionally hinged doors. Detailed specs and pricing have yet to be revealed, but the exterior of the seven-seater minivan will feature evolutionary styling in line with the previous four generations of its Japanese market predecessors.

When the Honda Odyssey debuted in 1994 the same underlying model was sold in both Japan and North America. With four hinged doors it was more a cross between a traditional minivan and a large station wagon. The second-generation North American Odyssey, debuted in 1998, grew larger and the rear doors were changed to the sliding variety. This was sold as the LaGreat in Japan, a model one class above the redesigned second-generation Japanese Odyssey, which remained the same basic size and continued to sport hinged rear doors.

For the third-generation in 2004, the Japanese Odyssey continued with that layout, while the LaGreat was discontinued in favor of the Elysion, a large van with sliding rear doors whose design was not shared with the US-market third-generation Odyssey.

However, after 10 years in the marketplace largely unchanged, the Elysion is being discontinued by Honda, leaving the fifth-generation JDM Odyssey to fill the void. It shares no design with the US-market Odyssey.

The hinged-door Odysseys have long been top sellers in Japan for Honda, seen as a sporty offering in a marketplace containing many sub-categories of minivan (such as compact, sport, luxury, and hybrid).

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